Map – Aalto sites
ARCHITECTURE – sacred spaces
Also known as the Rock Church, this exceptional example of 1960s architecture has become one of the city’s most visited tourist attractions. Resembling a prehistoric monument from the exterior, topped with a futuristic domed ceiling, the unassuming facade belies an elegant space that rejects all classical ideas of Western religious architecture. Designed by brothers Timo and Tuomo Suomalainen, the form is said to evoke the rugged landscape of the Suursaari island in the Baltic Sea, where they grew up.
Chapel of Silence
Located near the central Kamppi shopping centre and a major public transport hub, the chapel invites passers-by to drop in for a moment of seclusion during their commute and shopping. The wooden chapel creates a stark contrast in the urban grid with its oval silhouette. It is virtually impossible not to stop by this peculiar windowless object, and look for its entrance.
Designed by the Finnish K2S Architects and opened in 2012, the chapel boasts a unique social interface. The architecture is equally innovative. Parametric software was used to define the curved shape and the high level of precision in the wooden cladding was achieved by CNC-technology. As a whole, the chapel demonstrates a new wave of Finnish expertise in digital design, fabrication and wooden tectonics.
Overlooking the South Harbour, the Orthodox Cathedral was built in 1868, when Finland was an autonomous Grand Duchy of the Russian empire. The architecture exemplifies Byzantine-Russian traditions with golden cupolas symbolizing the Holy Spirit . Behind the red brick façade the Byzantine legacy is notable in the compact interior plan and exquisite oriental-style ornaments. The central dome is supported by four massive pillars of local granite. Services held on Saturdays and Sundays are open to everyone.
CAFÉS AND RESTAURANTS – waterfront
A short stroll from the centre, in front of Kaivopuisto Park, this smart cafe designed by Helin Architects is always busy in sunny weather. There’s a good selection of cava and champagne; tapas style snacks, sandwiches and pastries are also served.
Ehrenströmintie 3 A, 00140 Helsinki
+358 45 1196631
In the Hernesaari district, this café-bar has become one of the most popular spots for drinks and casual meals in southern Helsinki during summer. Designed by Talli Architects like a contemporary seaside cabin with an open plan and a large terrace.
Hernesaarenranta 2, 00150 Helsinki
+358 40 5474966
A great example of latest trends in timber architecture, Löyly is a stylish and popular sauna (wood-burning), a restaurant, terrace and a rooftop bar. Designed by Avanto Architects, it’s a seafront destination and meeting place open all year round.
+358 9 61286550
A small cottage by the Sibelius memorial monument in Töölö, Regatta is folksy and cosy. Locals come for cinnamon buns, Carelian pies and coffee. Also an open fire to make the most of the long summer nights, and boat-kayak rental next door.
Merikannontie 8, 00260 Helsinki
+358 40 0760049